Calcutta HC: Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay Says, ‘He will Put his Papers on 5 March’

Calcutta HC, Abhijit Upadhyay

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay of the Calcutta High Court has disclosed to Bengali News Channel his imminent resignation from his position as a judge of the High Court.

In an interview with a News TV Channel, Justice Gangopadhyay revealed his intention to step down from the role on March 5, promising to provide further details regarding his decision at a later time.

Justice Gangopadhyay has recently found himself embroiled in several controversies. Notably, he accused Justice Soumen Sen of exhibiting bias towards a political party in the state. This accusation arose subsequent to Justice Sen’s involvement in a Division Bench that issued a stay order against an instruction from Justice Gangopadhyay for the West Bengal Police to furnish case-related documents to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Following this incident, Justice Gangopadhyay revisited the matter and instructed the Advocate General to deliver the case papers to the CBI, claiming ignorance of the Division Bench’s stay order. Additionally, despite no request for a CBI inquiry in the petition, he mandated a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the CBI.

In his ruling, Justice Gangopadhyay further alleged that Justice Sen had influenced Justice Amrita Sinha, who was presiding over cases involving TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee, by suggesting that Banerjee’s political future warranted leniency.

In response to Justice Gangopadhyay’s actions, the Supreme Court intervened, taking note of the defiance of the Division Bench’s order and transferring all proceedings to itself.

Since assuming the position of High Court judge in May 2018, Justice Gangopadhyay has repeatedly disregarded judicial norms by disregarding orders from larger benches, engaging in political discussions with television channels, and even issuing directives to the Supreme Court Registry.

In April 2023, while handling petitions related to the ‘School Jobs for Cash Scam,’ Justice Gangopadhyay granted an interview to a local Bengali news channel discussing TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee’s alleged involvement in the scandal.

The Supreme Court strongly criticized this action, asserting that sitting judges should not participate in television interviews. Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud’s bench subsequently requested a report from the Registrar General of the Calcutta High Court to confirm whether Justice Gangopadhyay had indeed conducted the interview. The Supreme Court made it clear that if the interview had occurred, Justice Gangopadhyay would be disqualified from overseeing the petitions.

In response to the Supreme Court’s directive, Justice Gangopadhyay promptly issued an order demanding the Secretary General of the Supreme Court to present the report and an official translation of the interview he had given to the Bengali media.

As a result of this directive, the Supreme Court convened a special evening session to suspend the order. Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli of the division bench also remarked that such conduct was contrary to judicial discipline.

Recommended For You

About the Author: Ashish Sinha

-Ashish Kumar Sinha -Editor Legally Speaking -Ram Nath Goenka awardee - 14 Years of Experience in Media - Covering Courts Since 2008